Entrepreneur

Graduates of Microsoft’s Israel accelerator pitch to U.S. investors

Askem

Askem is a mobile application that prompts you to “question everything.”

Founder Itai Herman said that people are constantly asking questions and trying to get feedback from their social networks, but the options are mostly limited to yes-or-no polls or open commenting. Users can snap a photo on Askem and enter multiple answer options for their friends to choose from. For example, a pair of shoes could have “sexy” “cute” “ugly” and “out of style” as options. People respond on Facebook or Twitter (even if they don’t have the app) and that data is collected and displayed in pie chart form to show all the segmentations.

Askem photo“We are trying to change the paradigm from binary questions to allow people to ask any questions that comes to their mind, freely and creatively,” Herman said. “This is about self-expression for consumers, but will be huge for providing real-time consumer insights for brands. People regularly  their cell phones in stores for to make purchasing decisions. Brands have a blind spot here, they have no idea what people are asking and what the answers are. Askem is a window into their decision making process, their doubts, and other influencing factors.”

Askem’s patent-pending technology creates a persona profile for each user based on their interaction with the app. Brands like H&M could pose questions to their social media audience about the new Spring line, and break the feedback down by location, age etc… Herman said the company plans to do collaborations with brands and influencers across multiple industries and while the app is free for consumers, it will operate on a fermium model for brands who want to use a more complex dashboard.

Askem has raised $560,000 in seed funding from a group of international investors.

W.S.C. Sports Technologies

I know enough about sports to know that it is a massively lucrative industry. Fans are highly engaged and willing to pay for premium content, and broadcasters are willing to pay huge amounts of money for exclusive rights to show it to them.

W.S.C. Technologies has built an application that helps broadcasters get as much out of this investment as possible. Founder Daniel Shichman said broadcasters like Direct TV and Sky in the UK pay $1 billion a year for the exclusive rights to football and football, respectively. Advancements in online media challenge this exclusivity however, because people can now find the content elsewhere.

founders-wsc-small“Eyeballs are shifting to digital platforms and fans are consuming content everywhere,” he said. “The whole experience of the digital world is more interactive and personalized, and media rights owners are losing viewers to online sources like YouTube where they don’t make money.  We help media rights owners create the best possible, personalized  experiences to make the most off of video views.”

The startup’s Playmaker platform automatically creates personalized clips based on a fans’ criteria, like a specific team, player, game, or even action like touchdown (that’s when you kick it in the goal, right?). The database will pull up all the relevant clips and string them together in a unique reel. Fans can add in a soundtrack, add effects, provide commentary, and then share it across social networks which directs traffic to the broadcaster’s site, and keeps people off YouTube.

W.S.C. Technologies conducted a case study with a soccer league in Israel. Shichman implementing Playmaker doubled the number of video views and significantly increased the average time per user. Media rights owners pay a basic set up fee and then W.S.C. takes a piece of the revenue generated as a result. The company has raised $1 million and is currently touring the US. to meet with broadcasters and media rights owners here, including ESPN.

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